Childhood & Early Life
William Hall Macy Jr. was born on March 13, 1950 in Miami, Florida, to William Hall Macy, Sr. and Lois. He grew up in Maryland and Georgia.
His father was a bomber pilot who was awarded an Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber during the World War II. He later started a construction company and worked for Dun & Bradstreet. Eventually, he went on to take over an insurance agency. Macy’s mother was a former war widow whose first husband had died in 1943.
Macy studied at Allegany High School and then enrolled at the Bethany College in West Virginia to study veterinary medicine. Later, he transferred to Goddard College where he studied acting under playwright David Mamet.
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After graduating from Goddard College in 1972, William H. Macy originated roles in several plays by David Mamet, including ‘The Water Engine’ and ‘American Buffalo’.
In 1980, he moved to New York City, where he starred in over 40 Broadway and Off Broadway plays. Four years later, he had a role in the direct-to-video titled ‘The Boy Who Loved Trolls’.
From 1985 to 1988, he appeared in three episodes of ‘Spencer: For Hire.’ During this time, he also got featured in the drama series ‘Kate & Allie’ and ‘The Equalizer’ as well as in the films 'The Last Dragon', 'Radio Days', 'House of Games' and 'Things Change'.
Macy played Tim Sullivan in the crime film ‘Homicide’ in 1991. He next did the television movies ‘The Heart of Justice’ and ‘The Water Engine’. After this, he had roles in the movies ‘Being Human’, ‘Benny & Joon’ and ‘Searching for Bobby Fischer’.
In the year 1994, the actor was cast as Dr. David Morgenstern in the drama series ‘ER’. The same year, he starred as Dr. Greenway in the thriller film ‘The Client’. A year later, he got featured in the films ‘Murder in the First’, ‘Oleanna’ and ‘Mr. Holland's Opus’.
He played Jerry Lundegaard in ‘Fargo’ (1996), Charlie Crisco in ‘Ghosts of Mississippi’ (1996) and Little Bill Thompson in ‘Boogie Nights’ (1997).
Then in 1998, Macy starred in the fantasy comedy drama movie ‘Pleasantville’. The same year, he played Milton Arbogast in the film ‘Psycho’ and James Gordon in the legal drama ‘A Civil Action’. That year, he also played Leo Lionheart in the animated series ‘The Lionhearts’.
During 1999 and 2000, he starred in six episodes of ‘Sports Night’. During this time, he also acted in the movies ‘State and Main’, ‘Panic’ and ‘Magnolia’.
The American actor did the films ‘Door to Door’ and ‘Welcome to Collinwood’ in 2002. In the ensuing years, he appeared in a number of small and big screen projects including ‘Out of Order’, ‘Reversible Errors’, ‘The Cooler’, ‘Stealing Sinatra’ and ‘Seabiscuit’.
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From 2006 to 2007, he narrated the animated children’s series ‘Curious George’. During that time, he also lent his voice to the character of Brian the Snail in ‘Doogal’ as well as appeared in the flick ‘Bobby’. Meanwhile, he also did ‘Wild Hogs’ (2007), a movie about middle-aged men reliving their boyhood days. Despite being critically panned, the film was a financial success.
Macy next appeared in David Mamet's play ‘Speed-the-Plow’ on Broadway. He also starred as George in the comedy film ‘The Maiden Heist’. In 2010, he had a role in ‘Dirty Girl,’ a coming-of-age fun drama flick written and directed by Abe Sylvia.
In 2012, he got featured as Father Brendan in the independent drama film ‘The Sessions’. The actor was next cast in the crime thriller ‘A Single Shot’ directed by David M. Rosenthal. The movie also featured artistes like Sam Rockwell, Kelly Reilly, Jeffrey Wright and Joe Anderson.
In 2014, he voiced Satomi in the English version of the Japanese animated film ‘The Wind Rises’ as well as the Head Dentist in the French animated comedy ‘Ernest & Celestine’. That year, he also directed and starred in ‘Rudderless’ and had roles in the films ‘Cake’ and ‘Two-Bit Waltz’.
William H. Macy appeared as Dr. Corman in the comedy-drama ‘Walter’ and also starred in the films ‘Stealing Cars’, ‘Room’ and ‘Dial a Prayer’ in 2015.
He starred in the English-language French crime thriller ‘Blood Father’ in 2016. This flick, directed by Jean-François Richet, failed to impress the audience as it managed to gross only $4.8 million on a budget of $15 million.
In 2017, the actor got the opportunity to direct and star in the comedy drama ‘Krystal’. That year, he also directed the sex comedy ‘The Layover’.